Are you planning a short-notice, small wedding or elopement?

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIOS OPEN DURING COVID-19 - Many couples don’t want to wait. They are planning to get married in the very near future, eloping, or rushing a small ceremony with their photographer, some close friends, and family but dispensing with or postponing the reception party. 

View WPJA photo stories from smaller weddings - WedElope | Choose love, not fear!

North Carolina Wedding Photographers

Wedding Photographers of North Carolina, United States

Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Durham, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville, Cary, Wilmington, High Point, Greenville, Asheville, Chapel Hill

North Carolina Elopement Photographers

YOU CAN'T STOP LOVE - In recent days, some of our North America photographers have expressed their desire to accommodate couples who don’t want to wait to be married and are rushing the ceremony.

Many brides and grooms around the globe are planning to elope and deciding to reschedule their original ideas for a big event because of current covid restrictions, social distancing, and mask requirements. They are getting wed on a whim, but dispensing with or postponing all else.

The WPJA has an abundance of top-ranked, documentary-style elopement photographers who are available right now who understand that some weddings can’t wait. Find yours today!

Most Recent WPJA WedElope Story Awards
November 30th, 2020
 Wedding Photography Chamonix - French Wedding Image | The bride and groom pull down their masks and share a kiss
November 24th, 2020
Wedding Photography from Villa Ekaterina in Vakarel, Bulgaria | the bride works at the last minute to perfect the wedding arch
November 20th, 2020
Wedding Photo from Casa de Santa Teresa in RJ | a panoramic view of Sugarloaf Mountain in the background

Elopement Photographers for Small United States Weddings

Shooting an elopement or small North Carolina wedding event is a wedding photojournalist’s dream: a fairly open schedule with lots of breathing space for creativity – it’s just the photographer, the couple, the officiant, and perhaps a few select companions.

Members are ready to document any themed, secret, pop-up, or elopement wedding, even if it is a Monday-Thursday ceremony. Search for the “Can Shoot Weddings on Short Notice!” message on the listings below.

We are anxious to create a picture story chronicling your unique, boutique, symbolic, small wedding from beginning to end. In this sense, it is no different from any other event that we have covered. The emphasis is on documenting key moments, capturing spontaneous displays of emotion, telling your real love story, as well as creating artistic portraits and details.

Map of Wedding Photojournalists Serving North Carolina Couples

16 Documentary Wedding Photographers...

Asheville wedding photography by Michael Freas of North Carolina

Michael describes himself as “a real-moments photographer”. He strives to create bold, artistic portraits that are worthy of celebration. His unique perspective and down to earth personality translates well with clients, and he takes time to get to know all of his wedding couples. Michael likes to push the limits of creativity and thrives off of spontaneity. He focuses on the story of the day and how it unfolds, documenting the romance and love. When Michael was in high school, his grandfather gave him his first camera, a Kodak Ektra 100 and he began shooting film. It was during this time that the seed was planted for Michael’s unique eye for composition. A lifelong soccer player, Michael played goalkeeper in high school and college. As a goalkeeper, you have to anticipate movements, much the same way you have to anticipate special moments happening at a wedding. His documentarian style captures these fleeting moments creating images that are authentic and timeless. Each year, Michael shoots around 50 full-day weddings, including many destination and elopement weddings. An avid outdoorsman, Michael enjoys traveling to new places and exploring the beauty of the natural world. He loves all activities on the water including fishing, boating, and surfing. Michael is inspired by nature, light, abstract design and the love he witnesses between his couples. [Asheville Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
3800 (USD)

With over 15 years of experience as a photojournalist, I specialize in finding those special moments that make your day unique. It’s an extreme honor to be trusted with documenting once in a lifetime moments. A wedding or elopement day is full of the moments you spent the last year planning, which fly by so quickly. I get to shoot for some amazing, fun-loving couples whose joy for life shines through in the photos we make together. My life as a photojournalist has provided countless opportunities to meet new and interesting people and I truly enjoy learning everyone’s story. That’s exactly what a wedding is for me: a chance to get to know incredible people, like yourself, and tell the story of this milestone in your life. Your wedding is a celebration of life and I want you to be filled with that same sense of joy every time you pass your photos hanging on the wall, flip through your wedding album, or see the image that pops up when your spouse calls your phone. Nothing gets me more excited than seeing raw emotion pouring out of the photos I make. My mission is to tell visual stories for my clients with high caliber, documentary-style photography and to create meaningful artwork with professionalism and enthusiasm. Outside of wedding photography, I’ve twice been honored as the Photographer of the Year by The North Carolina Press Association (2010 and 2012) for my work with the Independent Tribune, a Concord, NC-based newspaper. For the past three seasons, I've had the privilege to work with the Carolina Panthers as part of their photo team. [Charlotte Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
2500 (USD)

After studying photography at NESOP in Boston Massachusetts, Neil spent several years in the action sports industry as a photographer working with nationally recognized athletes in the snowboard, ski and motocross industries. In his personal work Neil has traveled to locations in North and South America, Eastern Europe, and North Africa, creating documentary images that tell the story of those he met along the way. Since moving to the Outer Banks of North Carolina in 2000, Neil has established himself as a nationally recognized wedding photojournalist, applying his unique experience to capture the reality, excitement, and emotion of the wedding day. [Outer Banks Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
500/hour (USD)

Sarah Whitmeyer was raised in Raleigh, North Carolina where she graduated from Broughton High School. She went on to study photojournalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received her BA in photojournalism in 2005. She has been shooting weddings in the mountains of North Carolina since 2006. [Asheville Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
2000 (USD)
North Carolina and Raleigh wedding photography by Lacey Gadwill

I should have been practicing penmanship (it really is the worst) but I could not keep my hands off my step father's photography books. I learned what panning was, what particular filters did- I found it all fascinating. Later on, I had a few friends that dabbled in photography and showed me the darkroom- what magic! Finally, on a whim, I took Photo 101 in college. That was my first love! I've documented over 400 weddings, and am positive that the found moment is more valuable to the heart than any staged. I cannot tell you what fulfillment it brings me, personally, to offer these documents to my clients. When everything works together- the moment, the lighting, the emotion- I keep that in my pocket for a rainy day. Portraits have a lean toward that as well, with a push toward the bonds between people. By working to get clients to interact, the images made reflect the connection between individuals as well as the self. “My goal is for fun moments between the people I am photographing, with little camera awareness apparent. Posed work is great, but finding the real smiles, getting a belly laugh- I want my clients to have images that capture that!” Her background in traditional photography, studio lighting, and English literature blend well to help tell the stories between families and friends and the love of a lifetime. [Raleigh Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
2000 (USD)

Hi, I’m Joe and I’m a Raleigh wedding photographer specialising in a combination of documentary-style photojournalism and fine art portraiture. Thanks for stopping by my site and having a look around. Hopefully, you’re reading this as you like what you’ve seen in my wedding photography galleries. If so, you obviously have amazing taste! You know, it’s funny. Many photographers will tell you they were pretty much born with a camera in their hands, but my love affair with photography only really began when my wife and I learnt we were expecting our first child. It’s strange to think, now that this is what I do, but I actually have very few photos of myself as a kid growing up back home in England. So one of the first things I did when I learnt I was going to be a dad was go out, buy a camera and a couple of lenses and immerse myself in the subject. Since then, photography has been my passion and I spend much of my waking life in the pursuit of honing my craft. A few things you should probably know about how I work: Firstly, I am really driven to document moments rather than stage them. My background studying fine art in Europe has instilled in me a strong appreciation for beauty on both an aesthetic and intellectual level. As such, I strive to tell the story of your day in a unique and personal way. I truly believe that every couple is different and every wedding has its own character and spirit. My job is to capture that character so that, when you look at your photos with your kids and grandkids in the years to come, the soul of your wedding day shines through every image. As such, if you’re looking for someone to replicate the tired, clichéd images you see on Pinterest and in wedding blogs, I’m probably not the photographer for you. That’s probably the worst sales pitch ever, but I’m just being honest! Secondly, a lot of the people who choose me tend to feel uncomfortable in front of the camera. This is totally OK with me, because I feel 100% the same way! The way I work is primarily to just stay in the background, listen and watch. I concentrate and observe in order to anticipate the moments as they unfold and capture them with the best light and compositional elements possible. People tend to forget I’m even there, which lets me capture the authentic moments that count. For the parts of the day where we will be taking portraits, the emphasis is on the couple just being themselves. We may do a bit of experimenting with your engagement session in order to have some fun and get used to each other, but that normally has to do more with using the available light than having you do your best catwalk model impression. I’m interested in capturing your personality and that can’t happen if you’re trying to be someone or something you’re not. Authenticity is key. Thirdly, it’s pretty much a requirement that we like each other’s company. I’m not expecting us to be besties overnight, but I have no desire to spend time documenting a wedding for someone I have no emotional connection with. Some photographers like to keep it all business, but I have shot weddings like that and have walked away feeling pretty emotionally squalid afterwards. So, if you’d like to chat with me about shooting your wedding, please don’t be shy and send me an email. We can then set up a time to get together in person or through Skype/phone if you live out of town. After all, we’re going to be spending quality time together on the most important day of your life so far. You want to make sure I’m not a total loser, right? Some other random stuff you might like to know: I grew up in England so, to me, you guys all talk funny. I spent a fair few years living in Barcelona and Valencia, Spain and my wife is Panamanian. So I speak fluent Spanish and Catalan. I can get by in Portuguese and French too. This can come in really handy when your guests come in from overseas or I need to swear in front of my kids. I went back to school to get an MBA from Butler University in Indianapolis at the same time I was starting a family. It was probably the toughest thing I’ve ever done in my life and it was a total pain in the arse for a few years, but I’m pleased I did it. My first real job was selling tractors to Spanish farmers. Yeah, it was as glamorous as it sounds. I then spent 15 years or so working in media and communications, so the experience in album design and layout comes from there. For my photography, I’ve won a few awards over the last few years. I won’t bore you with the details here, but I guess it means I’m OK at what I do. If you’re interested in reading what my clients think of me, I put all the good reviews here and here. All the bad ones are hidden away on a MySpace page under a false name. When it comes to photography, my influences are people like Anton Corbijn, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Steve McCurry, Robert Frank and John Nachtwey. If that means anything to you, then you should definitely give me a call. I also work for a really cool photography software company called Alien Skin Software. If you like fiddling with your photos as much as I do, then you’ll love the products they put out. If you’re interested in what gear I use, you probably shouldn’t be, but you’re obviously a photographer and lens geek too. If that’s you, check out this page. My wife and kids are my life and the reason I do what I do. This is probably very boring and long-winded, but you’re still here. I am in dire need of a copy editor. If you made it down this far, you either have way too much time on your hands or you really should get in touch. Thanks for making it this far! Hope to speak with you soon! Cheers, Joe [Raleigh Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
3999 (USD)
Sarasota elopement and wedding photography by Samantha Moore of Florida

My focus is connecting, creating, and sharing with people: photography is a beautiful avenue for that. I began documenting weddings many years ago in college & have simply never really stopped. It's often the happiest day of someone's life, what a treat to experience that alongside them. I'm addicted to the challenge of making portraits beautiful regardless of the venue, weather, or circumstances. And now, it's incredible to see clients repost those photos for their anniversaries, celebrating as many as 15 years together! I've had the pleasure of shooting worldwide, from Oregon to Florida, France to Bahamian cruises, Chicago to Arizona, and so many dynamic places in between. Each couple has their own ideas of how to celebrate their love and I feel such it's such an honor when I'm chosen to document that for them. I don't aim to orchestrate their day but to photograph it in a way that captures all that they wish to remember it by. It gives me intense joy to think of generations from now flipping through wedding albums I create and these images becoming woven into their family's histories. What's not to love about two people so madly in love they're ready to promise their lives to partner up together. Beyond my camera, I'm a wife and mother in Florida who's addicted to dance fitness classes and gardening. There are few things I enjoy more than dinner parties with friends, funny chickens in my backyard, and laughing children in the pool. [Sarasota Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
2950 (USD)

Joyce Perlman lives in San Francisco and Mendocino, California, where she is best known for her images of fine art wedding photography. Her particular style utilizes a blend of documentary photography with contemporary portraiture; stylish and sophisticated. She has a sophisticated style that transcends trends. Associated with The Saret Gallery, formerly The Photographers Gallery of Palo Alto, she contributed to the education of the public in the aesthetic and technical aspects of photography for many years. Joyce's work experience includes directing design for visual communication media in the consumer, business and education markets for Apple Computer, Adobe Systems , Amazon and Electronic Arts. She is a well-known professional resource to the creative community for high-quality design and photography. Joyce studied fine art history and advertising at Syracuse University in New York, London, England and Florence, Italy. [San Francisco Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
4200 (USD)

With more than 17 years behind the camera, Robert approaches each and every wedding he photographs with a distinctive, fine art, photo-journalistic style. Fun, Relaxed, Discreet, and Professional are how client's describe their experience working with award-winning and published photographer Robert Walker. Happily married for over 20 years, Robert and his wife share their home in Dallas with their son, and their ever-playful Golden Retriever. [Dallas-Fort Worth Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
2400 (USD)
District Of Columbia wedding and elopement photography by Edward Underwood

I am a Washington DC-based photographer living in Northwest with my wife, and two boys, Preston and Chase. My parents have a photo of me at two wearing my dad’s boots and holding his Polaroid Land Camera. I bought my first camera with some Christmas money at eight, and I went about documenting everything around me. My happy place is on a plane to someplace far away from DC, documenting people and eating as much spicy food as possible. My aim is to capture organic moments that my clients create and allow for memories to unfold naturally. The goal is capturing photos that reflect people’s authentic emotions. Over the last decade, I have been awed and honored to capture people’s special moments. When not shooting weddings, I photograph interiors and read about 40 books a year. [Washington DC Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
3000 (USD)

Three time Pulitzer Prize nominee Eva Russo is the owner and main photographer for Photo Lady Love, Inc. She was born in Chicago, raised in Italy, moved to France and then settled back in the United States. A graduate in photojournalism from the prestigious Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Eva uses still photography, video and audio in her photographic storytelling on both short and long-term projects. Eva received two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize for her two-year-long project documenting living and working conditions in the Richmond City Jail. Her work focused on the daily life and struggles of the inmates as well as mental health and recidivism issues. Her third Pulitzer Prize nomination was for her work documenting a Vietnamese community in New Orleans East as it recovered from Hurricane Katrina. As a staff photographer for the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Richmond, Virginia, Eva covered daily assignments ranging from little league games to political campaigns to the Queen of England’s visit to Virginia. However, her passion for social documentary projects has always been what makes her tick. Her accolades and award-winning coverage for the Richmond Times-Dispatch include coverage of the Winter Olympics, the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings, the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi, the 2009 Presidential Inauguration and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. In 2010 Eva decided to embrace an exciting new adventure in her life and she founded Photo Lady Love, Inc. Applying the same storytelling concepts to a wedding day as she would to a newspaper story, Eva has devoted increasingly more time over the past few years to documenting joyful, tearful, momentous and exciting occasions in people’s lives. From wedding days to first babies, engagements to anniversaries, documenting love and joy has contributed a refreshing balance to Eva’s career and the stories she loves to tell. This new chapter in Eva’s career became an opportunity for further growth when, in the summer of 2012, Eva left her staff position at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, married her love and moved to the Washington, DC area. Eva now divides her time between documentary wedding and lifestyle coverage, freelancing for newspapers such as The Washington Post and The Washington Times, mentoring and teaching photography workshops with Momenta Workshops, documenting the work of local nonprofits and pursuing her love of food and food photography. Never letting the grass grow under her well-manicured photographer’s feet, but always stopping to smell the roses, Eva considers herself one of the lucky people who loves her job. [Alexandria Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
3400 (USD)

Dan started his photography career at the age of eight, encouraged by his mother's instructions on the workings of the Kodak Brownie II camera. He spent the whole afternoon lying on the grass in the late California summer sun taking pictures of his GI Joe figurines in full battle regalia. Little did he know his love of GI Joe was to be replaced with a love of photography. His formative years are now more affectionately referred to as the Rangefinder, Polaroid and Instamatic years. He majored in journalism in college, beginning his SLR years. He has over 20 years experience in newspapers. He swore he would never shoot weddings but finally caved under the pressure of friends and has now shot more than 730 events in the past 20 years. He has won numerous local, national and international awards. While lying in the grass at a recent wedding capturing the life-changing event before his eyes, he reminisced about an earlier time when he naively discovered his own lifetime passion. [Jacksonville Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
300/hour (USD)
Portrait of Daniel Min, Williamsburg Wedding Photographer

Daniel is an award winning photographer with a decade of experience as a staff photographer at one of the leading newspapers in Virginia. As a newspaper photojournalist, the transition to wedding photojournalism has been seamless. Documenting the couples and the legacy of their family with artistic and photojournalistic styles is at the heart of what he is about. [Williamsburg Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
3500 (USD)
Knoxville wedding elopement photography by Bryan Aleman of Tennessee

I have loved photography since I was young. I have always loved the thought of any emotion being captured naturally, in it's purest form of expression. My passion is born from being a romantic at heart and shooting a wedding like I was shooting my own, without missing a moment. I lived half of my life in Honduras and the most recent half in the USA which is where I have mostly grown as a photographer for weddings, engagements, and elopements. [Knoxville Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
200/hour (USD)
Fredericksburg wedding and elopement photography by Jennifer Catron of Virginia

My photography started in an Office Depot Parking lot in Denver Colorado, with a camera that was still in the box, some tri-x film, and a homeless man named Paulie. He took me on a journey that day that gave me a purpose, gave my camera a purpose, and in essence gave me a life. From a CBS documentary that highlighted my two years photographing the homeless in Denver, to working as a freelance photographer with the Denver Post, to getting a job on the Quantico base for ONE day with their newspaper, to photographing 60 weddings a year it has been a ride that most would never believe took place. Photography is my happy place. It's about timing my fingers and eyes to someone else's soul, and about seeing the world in a way that gives it respect, as well as timelessness. It's a superpower to freeze time and take it to a time that it was never supposed to be, but it's a key that unlocks your most prized possession in this world, and that is your memory. I am honored to be a part of so many moments that aren't inherently mine and am incredibly fortunate that they are now memories of my own. [Fredericksburg Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
2300 (USD)
Southern California wedding photography by Marissa Daly, of Los Angeles

I was raised in North Carolina, went up north to Boston College to study Studio Art, lived abroad in Florence, Italy, moved to Washington, DC, and now I have been splitting my time on both coasts between Los Angeles and Greensboro, NC. I truly love what I do. It is as much a lifestyle as it is a calling - and I am humbled by the recognition I have received within my industry. In college, I was featured in National Geographic for a photojournalism piece focusing on Americans in the rural Blue Ridge Mountains. For the past 10 years, photography has been my life, my passion, and an ever-changing, creative source of self-expression. By incorporating both love and art, it is an extreme honor to capture the big moments in people's lives. Weddings are the culmination of a love story and a start to a new adventure. What I love most about weddings is I often get to see a couple grow from engagement to marriage to starting a family. To maintain quality work and excellent client relationships, I only book up to 15 weddings a year (both local and international). The other work I get to delve into (mostly in LA) is documenting branding and decor for Hollywood studios and other companies. On those very special days off, I adore spending time with my husband, our new baby boy Julian, and our rescue Shepherd, Zoe. I am very passionate about animal welfare and spend a dedicated amount of time photographing shelter animals and helping place them in forever homes. [Los Angeles Wedding Photographer]

Starting Price:
3800 (USD)
WPJA Communiqué: Features
Traditionally speaking, often times it is the couple’s families who help pay for their wedding. However, unfortunately that’s just not possible for everyone, especially these days when the cost of weddings can quickly and easily get out of control. Some couples find themselves in the position of paying for all of their own wedding expenses, which can be quite the financial burden to take on, and about 40% of Millennials end up in this boat. So, how can you stick to your allotted...Read more
So your wedding is just around the corner and you’ve decided to elope , either because you want to do this on a budget , avoid a large wedding party, or simply to enjoy the day together with minimal distractions and as little stress as possible . They say 'all you need is love', but where exactly can you afford to trim the fat, so to speak? You want simplicity, but you also want to be properly married and, surely, to remember this occasion. Who, then, could be more important than...Read more
Jola Mulder, of Overijssel, is a wedding photographer for
Oftentimes when people are considering a venue for their weddings, they search for a location away from home, whether that be ten minutes or ten hours, all just to find what they already have: a place that holds meaning for them, that feels comfortable, or that they find special and memorable. But what could hold more memory, meaning, and importance than your own home? For those looking for that perfect venue, it may not be any further than beyond your threshold.Read more
We all know that the economy can go through some hard times, and be somewhat reminiscent of past recessions. However, as people cut back on non-essential little luxuries here and there, one constant remains: weddings. People don’t tend to just stop getting married due to a poor economy, nor should they! So, in an industry that keeps on going through thick and thin, what are some things to expect for the future, and what is really necessary to still make that wedding day memorable and...Read more
jperlman elk cove inn ceremony
Everyone always says that your wedding day is all about you. But let’s face it; that’s not always actually the case. Many couples stress over guest lists, planning, expenses, and all the frills and traditions of your standard large wedding that they may or may not even be interested in. Fortunately, though, the concept of small weddings is becoming increasingly popular for couples who either want to be able to completely customize their day where and when they want with the option...Read more
While some people live for the hustle and bustle of a big wedding with extravagant décor and an impossibly long guest list, others find these kinds of weddings to be too much hoopla, preferring instead something simpler and quieter, allowing for more intimacy between them and their fiancés on this special day. So how do you infuse your wedding with all the romance but none of the fuss? ALONE AT LAST Many couples these days are opting to elope rather than planning a large wedding. For the no-...Read more

RAVES, REVIEWS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Kaleigh & Brent

Photo by James Nix

Brent and I, as well as our entire family and friends, are absolutely in love with all of our pictures... People have told us our pictures look like they are out of a magazine. All of our pictures truly document our wedding day from start to finish even including all of the small details. We couldn't be more pleased... Thank you so much James!

Corley & Don

Photo by Neil Thurston

Hi Neil and Lisa, Don and I are beyond thrilled with our pictures! The quality, detail, and beauty of the pictures is just so obvious. Aside from all those things, we love that you captured the sequence of events in a photojournalistic fashion. I've gotten comments from many of my friends/family that these are the best pictures they have ever seen, and of course we are just so proud that they are our pictures. I also have to chuckle a little because you guys were such an organized but chill vendor and as a project manager myself, I know how much preparation you both did behind the scenes to make that work. We couldn't be any happier and if you ever need a reference - email, phone, whatever - please do not hesitate to call.

Kitty Hawk Wedding Photography by Neil GT Photographer

Heather and Andrew

Photo by Neil Thurston

Wow! I am speechless, these photos are absoloutely amazing! Thank you so much for capturing these precious moments on our wedding day!

Neil GT Photography Outer Banks Wedding Photographer

Teri and Michael

Photo by Neil Thurston

Thank you so incredibly much for everything! Everyone that sees our pictures says WOW! and that we just radiate happiness, and that is the perfect compliment because that's exactly how we felt and you captured it perfectly! We will cherish these photos forever. Hopefully our paths cross again one day, perhaps for family photos!

Michelle and Peter

Photo by Neil Thurston

Thank you for the amazing pictures! They are absoloutely breathtaking! You both captured every single detail of the day and every picture tells a story. You both did a phenomenal job and were such a pleasure to work with. We can't thank you enough for these amazing memories!

Williamsburg Winery wedding photographer covering the first dance with the bride and groom.

Summer and Jake

Photo by Daniel Min

All of the photographs turned out beautifully and will be cherished for years to come.